Tonight, Berkeley County Council voted on whether to raise taxes, in order to try and prevent a tax increase. The City Council in Goose Creek is in the process of passing a 2% hospitality tax on residents of Goose Creek. The tax would be applied to all restaurants in the city. The city plans to use some of the money to work on new phases of the Goose Creek recreation department.
Berkeley County Council became involved when the owner of Chick-Fil-A in Goose Creek contacted county councilman Tim Callanan, "he told me that Goose Creek was looking at implementing a 2% hospitality tax… no matter which way you look at it, it's a tax on citizens."
Chris Walker is the owner of Chick-Fil-A, "I believe the hospitality tax would have some impact on the ability of the customer to do business with us."
Walker said, in addition, Goose Creek already has higher business license taxes than his Summerville location. While the Summerville restaurant makes more money each year, he actually pays higher business license fees in Goose Creek, "The City of Goose Creek is almost double what the Town of Summerville's business license fee is."
Callanan says he learned that if Berkeley County Council were to implement a hospitality tax first, Goose Creek would only get a portion of that money. He hoped that might cause Goose Creek to rethink the new tax.
So Councilman Callanan put a new county hospitality tax on the agenda. But he didn't plan on council passing it. He just hoped that the city might rethink their tax, "I have no interest in implementing another tax on citizens. I essentially told him that I would put this through a couple of readings and not get any further."
Berkeley County Council voted on the hospitality tax Monday night. City Council in Goose Creek will hold a public hearing on the new tax Tuesday night at 7PM. They plan on holding their second and final vote on the tax on Thursday.